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Sarah Bernhardt as La Princesse Lointaine (1897). Alphonse Mucha (Czech, 1860-1939). Poster for La Plume magazine.

Sarah Bernhardt played Mélissinde in Edmon Rostand’s play La Princesse Lointaine at the Théâtre de la Renaissance in Paris from April 1895. This poster, which breaks away from Mucha’s full-length depictions of the actress, was created for a banquet organised by Bernhardt’s friends and admirers at the Grand Hotel in Paris on 9 December 1896. The poster proved so popular that it was reproduced in La Plume magazine, the Edition d’Art and as a postcard for the department store La Belle Jardinière. Bernhardt wears a tiara in her hair adorned with lilies that was designed by Mucha.